Would You Read It Wednesday #202 – My Mama Runs: Mia And The Marathon (PB/ER)

It’s Would You Read It Wednesday and it’s March, people!  How awesome is that?

I know winter isn’t technically over in our neck of the woods until mid-April (if we’re lucky!) but there’s something so light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel promising about March!  This year in particular, the light is changing, the sun feels warmer than usual for this time, and the cardinals are singing already!  Let’s just put global warming right out of our heads, shall we? and just think chocolate.

Because I think we should celebrate these early spring-like days with Something Chocolate!  (Not that I need an excuse for chocolate…)  And just wait til you see what I have for today.  I am not kidding.  It is Actual Health Food.  Seriously.  Even you are going to like this one, Julie R-Z of the I-don’t-eat-chocolate-for-breakfast persuasion!

Oatmeal Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Bars!

best-recipe

From Amy at New Nostalgia

 

See that?  The first listed ingredient is oatmeal!  Breakfast food and health food!  Plus there are dried cranberries in the recipe, and those of you who are familiar with dried cranberries know that they are candy count as a fruit 🙂  Plus, the words “no-bake” appear in the title, and that means easier prep and less time until BREAKFAST! 🙂

I hope you will all enjoy this healthful and delicious treat.  You know I’m always looking out for you, doing my best to make sure you are supplied with chocolate in the most nutritious way possible 🙂

Today’s pitch comes to us from Stacia who is a curriculum and content writer for an early education non-profit.  She has been published in NAEYC’s Teaching Young Children and Museum Magazine.  Stacia lives in Washington, DC with her husband and adorable pup, Ollie.

Here is her pitch:

Working Title: My Mama Runs: Mia And The Marathon

Age/Genre: Picture Book/Early Reader

The Pitch:  Mia’s mama loves to run and Mia loves to cheer her on! While Mama is getting ready for her longest race ever, find out what Mia does to get ready too!  Will Mia’s cheering be enough to help Mama cross the finish line?

So what do you think?  Would You Read It?  YES, MAYBE or NO?

If your answer is YES, please feel free to tell us what you particularly liked and why the pitch piqued your interest.  If your answer is MAYBE or NO, please feel free to tell us what you think could be better in the spirit of helping Stacia improve her pitch.  Helpful examples of possible alternate wordings are welcome.  (However, I must ask that comments be constructive and respectful.  I reserve the right not to publish comments that are mean because that is not what this is about.)

 

Please send YOUR pitches for the coming weeks!  For rules and where to submit, click on this link Would You Read It or on Would You Read It in the dropdown under For Writers in the bar above.  Unbelievably, there are actually openings in March, um, like next week! so we could really use some pitch submissions right about now and you could get your pitch up for some helpful feedback pretty soon, and have a chance to have it read by editor Erin Molta!

Stacia is looking forward to your thoughts on her pitch!  I am looking forward to not baking oatmeal chocolate and peanut butter for breakfast 🙂

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!!! 🙂

 

45 thoughts on “Would You Read It Wednesday #202 – My Mama Runs: Mia And The Marathon (PB/ER)

  1. sharon says:

    Yes! I would read it. I love that Mia’s mama is running. Promoting a healthy lifestyle is a great obstacle for mama. Also, I’m curious to see what Mia will do to get ready and if mama will cross the finish line. Good Luck

  2. Lynne Marie says:

    Yes! I would read it. I think it is a well-executed pitch that captures the audience and tone of the picture book/ early reader. I am looking forward to learning about what it takes to be in a Marathon via Mia’s mother and seeing Mia’s take on it. Good luck!

    • Stacia Jackson says:

      That’s actually where Mia came from!! I’m training for a half too and thought it would be so fun to have a mini-cheerleader on the sideline (aside from my husband and dog).

  3. Jen Bagan says:

    Love this pitch and I’d definitely read it! It’s clear, simple and gets right to the point of the book. My only suggestion would be to maybe ramp up the tension a bit. Perhaps the last line could be something like “When Mama struggles at the end, will Mia’s cheering be enough to help her cross the finish line?” Great job!

  4. Wendy says:

    I’m wondering why the PB/Easy reader label? Picture books usually leave part of the story to the illos, while Early Readers do the opposite (the entire story in the text with illos to help decode), so the dual label confuses me a bit.

      • Iza Trapani says:

        Hi Stacia, Your pitch works nicely (i think stepping up the tension a bit in the last line like Jen suggested is a great idea.) Picture books and early readers are quite different (early readers are often broken into chapters and have much simpler words.) It sounds like you are doing a picture book. Just be sure to make your story succinct (like you did so nicely in your pitch.) Keep in mind that most picture books are 32 pages and you have about 27-29 pages in which to tell the story- so be sure to move it forward from page to page. I look forward to reading your book!

  5. kathalsey says:

    I love the idea of a mother-daughter book that focuses on sports and health! Yay! However, I don’t see any tension or obstacles presented. Could Momma and Mia (great names) have some sort of conflict or bet, but they both come out winners in the end? Now I’m changing your plot, sorry. I don’t see the obstacles to be overcome in the pitch, that’s my main point, I guess.

  6. Gabi Snyder says:

    I’ve never seen a PB or early reader with marathon-running as a theme, so this seems like a really fresh and interesting story idea. And I love that you’re focusing on a mom/daughter relationship. Like Jen suggests, you might be able to ramp up the tension a bit. I think there’s inherently an obstacle in preparing for and running a marathon, but Mia’s obstacle isn’t as clear. Could you suggest an obstacle or obstacles that Mia (separate from Mama) needs to overcome? It could be something like Mia and her Dad running into trouble on their way to the race or losing their cheer signs or ??? Good luck with this!

    • Stacia Jackson says:

      Hi Gabi–Dad is going to play a big part in this on race day. Mia and Mama are also going to have coordinating outfits that is going to lead to some confusion! Thanks for your comments!!!

  7. Christie Allred says:

    Yes, I would read it. 🙂 I agree with the others about the need for more tension. I also thought the phrase “…find out what Mia does to get ready too.” could use some re-wording – something that doesn’t tell the reader what they’ll find out, but rather lets the reader decide what they’ll find out, if that makes sense. Something like, “…Mia discovers a way/ways she can get ready too.” Just a thought to take or leave. Good luck!

    Susanna, I have tried to email you a couple of times about my Would You Read It Wednesday submission and the Valentiny honorable mention – but I don’t think you are getting my messages, because you usually reply quickly. I tried again this morning, but thought I’d leave you a comment here to give you a heads up. Maybe my emails are not the only ones failing to get through?

  8. jdewdropsofink says:

    The pitch definitely sets up your target audience. Runners will love it. I am not a runner :), and would probably stop after reading the first part. However, I think you can broaden the appeal (there is nothing wrong with staying niche) if you want to by making a few tweaks.

    Mia’s mama loves (FIRST WE START OFF WITH MOM. I WOULD START WITH MIA. “MIA LOVES TO CHEER ON HER RUNNER MOM–or something better 🙂 ) to run and Mia loves to cheer her on! While Mama is getting ready for her longest race ever, find out what Mia does to get ready too! TOO VAGUE–“AS MAMA GETS READY FOR HER LONGEST RACE EVER, MIA COLORS THE BANNER, PACKS THE WATER, AND PUTS ON HER OWN RUNNING SHOES, BUT ??? WHAT HAPPENS THAT MIGHT THROW A KINK IN MIA’S PLANS. Will Mia’s cheering be enough to help Mama cross the finish line? INSTEAD OF ENDING WITH A QUESTION, TRY FINDING A STATEMENT. QUESTIONS ARE OFTEN OVERDONE IN QUERIES AND SOME AGENTS SIMPLY DON’T LIKE THEM. MAYBE. “MIA BOUNCES IN HER SHOES WAITING FOR MOM TO CROSS THAT FINISH LINE, BUT WHEN MOM DOESN’T SHOW UP, MIA HAS TO COME UP WITH HER BEST CHEER EVER,”

    Or whatever fits your story. I would think if you focus on Mia and her trying to help her mom rather than on the mom’s running, you can expand your audience–if you want to. Good luck with this. I can think of a lot of runner friends who snap this up.

  9. Lisa Riddiough says:

    Yes, I like it. But I agree with a few others who say that it might need a bit more tension. Stating the exact problem Mia *runs* into will add the tension. Great job and best wishes!!

  10. viviankirkfield says:

    Yes…I smell that spring-is-coming fragrance in the air, Susanna. I’m so happy!
    Yes…The breakfast suggestion is a definite will-try.
    And Yes…I would read Stacia’s story. I love the entire concept and she’s got lots of great hooks…mother/daughter, health/exercise…and I agree with Kathy H…I think some conflict/tension might be helpful. Just thinking outside the box…maybe Mia has a physical or other type of handicap that prevents her from running alongside Mama in the usual way…and how she overcomes that and deals with it so that she can be following her mother’s routine and then cheer her on to the finish line would make for a really satisfying story…and an additional hook of special needs.

    I’m thinking the title could be shorter…how about: Mia and the Marathon…or even, Mia’s Marathon.

    The pitch is pretty tight, but right now, the book seems more about mama than about Mia. But if you worked in some problem that keeps Mia from participating in the usual way, the focus would turn back to her.

    There is a great possible comp title from our very own Amy Dixon: Marathon Mouse. That might make a good mentor text. Best of luck, Stacia! It sounds like a great story.

  11. Keila Dawson says:

    It’s March, yikes! Where did February go? Maybe some no bake chocolate oatmeal bars will help Is It’s March?! Where did February go? Maybe some no bake chocolate peanut butter oatmeal bars will remind me!

    Cute story idea. Agree with starting your pitch with the MC rather than mama. Would like to see a hint at the conflict. Mia’s goal is to help her mother finish the race, right? Did mama barely finish the shorter race? Does Mia think something she did/didn’t do could have helped in mama in her first race? Read MARATHON MOUSE, a picture book about running the NYC marathon. It’s adorable and would be a good mentor text. Good luck!

  12. janebuttery says:

    Yes I love the idea of a mother who runs and I’m curious about Mia but would like an extra hint: maybe she is going to make a banner or even run the last km with her dad. Anyway, I’m interested because my daughter runs and our grand daughter( not her’s) is wanting to copy Aunt Sue and her name is Mayia! Love to see the book in print, Stacie.
    All the best,
    jane

  13. Genevieve Petrillo says:

    This topic definitely caught my interest, so yes, I would read it. I want to know more from the pitch, though. Does Mama usually have trouble finishing? Does Mia run with her? Has she ever had to help Mama before? Maybe one more sentence to give the reader the origin of the Mia’s assistance. Good luck with it.

  14. Michelle O'Hara Levin says:

    OK – so I’m all in on breakfast. AND on the book.
    I love the idea of a mom and daughter prepping for a race/run day together and off the top of my head can think of a BUNCH of people I would buy this book for. I agree that a little more in the pitch would help – more of the conflict and more of the tension. And I like the idea of shortening the name a bit – Mia’s Momma’s Marathon? Mia Makes the Marathon? (can you tell I like all those M’s). I think it’s a GREAT premise for a book and I can’t wait to get my grubby, used-to-be-a-runner paws on it!

  15. ingridboydston says:

    There are so many running mamas around, I think you may have found an underserved audience! I too agree the tension could be intensified and its might be better to focus on the MC first. Possibly simply by omitting the second line, or combining the First and last.
    Mia’s worried. Mama is getting ready for her longest race ever but will Mia’s cheering be enough to help her win? Best of luck!

  16. ptnozell says:

    Yes, I definitely would read it. As others suggest, I’d also start with Mia rather than Mama in the pitch; I confess to being a bit confused as to who was doing what at first. I love that Mama is doing the running & Mia is on the sidelines – I can imagine such possibilities: Mama needing Mia’s help; Mia cheering, but not liking to or unable to run for some reason(s), etc.

    Susanna, I have seen robins in both central CT & NJ. Spring is definitely on the way. And including oatmeal in the treat is super: we keep Irish oatmeal in the house; perfect for St. Patrick’s Day!

  17. Pamela Brunskill says:

    Yummy chocolate, Susanna! And, yes, I would read the story. While I agree with others who mentioned you could add a tiny bit to showcase what Mia does, I think it’s a great pitch! I wonder a teeny bit also about your last line–it’s not up to Mia to make sure her mom crosses the finish line, so what message does it send kids about their affect on others? What if she cheers her heart out and her mom doesn’t finish? That wouldn’t diminish Mia’s role. So, I suppose I want a little clarification on that point.
    Good luck, Stacia!

  18. hethfeth says:

    I’d definitely read it. This sounds like a unique angle on an untouched topic. I also have absolutely no clue what Mia might do to help get ready on her mom’s marathon day. I do think I want to know something about it in the pitch.

  19. Jess Townes says:

    Yes, I would read this book. In fact, I really wish I could read it now!

    A few things on your pitch – I was thrown off by the PB/Early Reader category. I’d like to know which one this really fits in, since they are so different in terms of use of language and illustration. I’d also like to see Mia play a more prominent role in the pitch, as I’m assuming Mia,is the MC and not her mom. Maybe the pitch could lead with Mia’s actions? And, I’d love to see a little bit more of the “juicy bits” of how she helps. Is it funny? Or sweet and super helpful (like making her smoothies, etc.) Is it encouraging (making signs, etc.)? Or more zany and totally unexpected? I think that the pitch could have a bit more of the feel of the language/ideas in the book.

    That said, I think the themes of mother/daughter and health/wellness will resonate and there’s a large audience for a book about running! I’m rooting for Mia and her mama!

  20. setwiggs says:

    Yes, marathons are something that moms train for every spring. taking care of yourself and being healthy and in shape is of importance to girls and their moms. at the same time, being too thin is an important issue that girls need to understand is not the same.

  21. ThisKidReviewsBooks says:

    Well here I am on Would you read it Sunday! What was that? Ms. Ro-Zo ate all the nutritious chocolate breakfast bars before I showed up? Okay, I know I am late but let me say I think it is refreshing to see a topic like this! I’d give it a try.

  22. Stacia Jackson says:

    Thank you all for your comments, questions, and suggestions. Mia is my first picture book pitch and the first one that I’m really excited about. I will definitely take your suggestions to heart–I’ve got a couple of ways that I can build tension in the pitch and shorten the title!! I’m hoping it will be a longer picture book with enough pictures to keep younger readers happy while older readers can learn from the text (we’ll see how that goes!!). Mia is definitely mischevious and while she tries to help mom prepare (and dad get ready to cheer from the sidelines), she’ll cause a couple of hiccups along the way!

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